Southwestern steak and potato cassarole — my latest culinary creation.

Being a culinary genius on a budget is hard work, let me tell you. But I managed to create something delicious in the kitchen the other night. It’s a Tina original, too. If you’re ever stuck with steak leftovers, give this dandy recipe a try. It’s easy, cheap, filling and yummy.

Leftovers from my cassarole creation

Ingredients:

–> 2 leftover steaks, preferably marinated with something tasty, sliced thin

–> Enough banana (or bell) peppers to yield two cups chopped up

–> 8 oz. grated cheese, sharp cheddar preferred by me

–> 1 can of black beans

–> 4 large russet potatoes (or whatever is cheapest)

–> Seasoned salt to taste

–> Chili powder to taste

–> Sour cream to top it off

–> Onions, chopped (optional)

— Olive oil to drizzle

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking pan with tin foil. Peel and slice potatoes, making them about 1/2 inch thick. Line the bottom of the pan with potatoes and drizzle with olive oil, turning to coat the bottom of the pan and the potatoes with it. Be generous with the olive oil — it will make the potatoes brown nicely. Then pop those potatoes in the oven to bake and soften.

In the meantime, prep the toppings (grate cheese, chop peppers, etc.). When the potatoes start to soften (aprox. 15 to 20 minutes), take them out and allow them to cool. Start dumping the toppings on. Add the chopped peppers, sliced steak, black beans, chopped onions (optional), and put the cheese on last. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. When the cheese is really gooey and everything seems heated through, it’s done.

Take it out and sprinkle with chili powder and seasoned salt. Place a dollop of sour cream on top after serving yourself a portion. Makes for excellent leftovers.

Add, substitute or take away ingredients depending on what you have. (For example, you can do black eyed peas instead of black beans.) If you find a particularly good addition, let me know!

Neat Fact: 

The banana peppers I used for this recipe came from my garden in Lubbock. Hooray for homegrown organic food! Also, the steak came from my parents who grass-feed calves and take them to slaughter at the local butcher. I love knowing where my food comes from, don’t you?

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